Card 06.01 General risk precautions



  1. Risks linked to machine use (see subjects "04 Mechanization ­ General aspects" and "05 Machinery and tools")
  2. Flu, chronic bronchitis, asthma and "farmer's lung" (due to dust breathing)
  3. Fall from high (inadequate use of ladders and excess of self-confidence)
  4. Circulatory disease and collapse (due to insolation)
  5. Allergies and anaphylactic shock (due to insects stings, reptiles bites and pollen respiration)
  6. Arms, legs and backaches (uncomfortable working positions)
  7. Bones and muscles damages (due to excess in load manual moving)
  8. Burns, intoxications and irritations (due to contamination by chemical products use)
  9. Eyes damages (due to splinters or other material projection)
  10. Wounds, contusions and abrasions (operator coming in contact with manual tools, branches and equipment)
  11. Lower limbs damages (materials and tools fall from heights; slipping and stumbling)


It is necessary to remind that:
Farming fields are characterised by a variety of operations. Most of them are performed with agricultural machinery and equipment, whose both risks and good behaviour are indicated in their relative cards. In this card typical manual aspects, or with simple tools, directly performed on the field are shown and studied, focusing on fall from portable ladders. These accidents are the most frequent in agriculture, and their consequences may be serious (permanent disability or death).




Use of backpack sprayer:

  • it is necessary to choose sprayer with upholstered shoulder-strap and back;
  • a raised support is required to puteasily the backpack on the shoulder; and
  • it is necessary to use P.P.E.(half-mask respirator at least).


During harvesting:

  • it is advisable to use holding hooks (ideally double) and containers to keep round the waist to work easily and in safety;
  • it is necessary to be careful to any bump against branches and to balance loss while moving to the next tree;
  • working on the ground and for small plants, it is advisable to place the container on luges or on holding-container wheelbarrows.


Manual moving of loads (boxes, cases, barrels, bags, heavy tools etc):

  • operators shall spread their legs to increase the support base: a distance of about 50 cm between feet shall be kept;
  • operators shall bend their legs to lower the centre of gravity;
  • operators shall draw close the load to their bodies, carrying the weigh arms stretched to the ground;
  • it is necessary to maximize the grip surface;
  • operators shall lower bending their legs and trying not to bow their backs ahead;
  • operators shall lift the weight straightening their legs and their backs;
  • operators shall keep the loads next to their bodies as possible;
  • operators shall avoid torso rotation during lifting;
  • operators shall exploit their bodies weight to push or pull loads;
  • it is necessary to reduce load within sensible limits: 25 kg for men and 15 kg for women;
  • to move heavy or bulky loads, it is advisable to work in couple without overcoming personal limits or hinder each other
  • if possible, it is necessary to use adequate machinery to lift load instead of manual moving;
  • if possible, it is necessary to use charging points for heavier equipment;
  • it is forbidden to store products over the operator's shoulder height;
  • it is necessary to avoid storing heavy weight using mobile ladders;
  • it is necessary to avoid moving weight on fixed ladders non-validated; and
  • it is preferable to move loads within the zone formed by the shoulder and the knuckles heights (measure taken with the arms along the body).


Ladder use:

It is advisable to prefer the use of the ladder made of:

  • aluminium: when it must be light, solid, with low risks of step breaking and requires minimal maintenance; and
  • wood: when it must be elastic, not much slippery, not conduct electricity (working next to power lines) and used both in winter and in summer (it maintains a mild temperature).


In general "simple" mobile ladders shall:

  • be provided with anti-skid devices at the lower stanchion extremities;
  • be provided with holding hooks at the upper extremities; and
  • have a maximum length of 15m, and ­ if longer than 8 m ­ they shall be provided with section-divider.


When the ladder is moved laterally no-one shall be on it.


During operations there should be a person on the ground supervising work.


Double ladders:

  • must not over come 5m of height;
  • shall be provided with a safety chain preventing their opening past the safety limit.


Great ladders:

  • shall always be used opened;
  • shall have a maximum length of 3,5 m;
  • at the first step height, they shall not be larger than 4/10 of the total height; and
  • shall be provided with a safety chain preventing their opening past the safety limit.


P.P.E. use:

Respiratory tract protection:

  • dusts on an open field may contain vegetal particles, mites, scales, mould and toxic active principles. It is necessary to choose P.P.E. according to substances and particles to filter; and
  • respirator equipment must be cleaned each and every time after their use.



  • shall be strong, sensible and tearing and hazardous substances proof;
  • shall not be fluttering; and
  • shall fit perfectly the operator, cleaned regularly and hold separately from plain clothing.


Foot protection:

  • footwear shall be resistant and easy to take off, provided with steel toe, anti-skid sole with deep cross-section and breathable uppers.


Hearing protection:

Apart from working in soundproof cabs, in general it is necessary to be provided with:

  • "plugs",thatis"earplugs" mouldable (to roll and press before their introduction in the ear; if reusable, they shall be kept in adequate boxes); and
  • safety earmuffs (they isolate better from high frequencies, permit to hear better any word, shall be put on in a regular way and shall not be bothering).


Eyes and face protection:

  • goggles shall have a wide visual angle, be shockproof, unscratchable and demisting, have good lateral protection, take the form of the face and be easily washable; and
  • the visor is suggested for particular tasks (when it is necessary to protect the entire face).


Hands and skin protection:

  • gloves shall be chosen according to the work to perform, they may be unscratchable, have a strong resistance to cut, to perforation and to toxic substances touch. They shall guarantee free movements, grip, manipulation, waterproof and good breathability;
  • gloves shall be changed regularly for they become permeable to any substance as they age;
  • before taking off gloves, they shall be accurately cleaned. If they are washed, it is necessary to turn them inside out in order to dry them quickly and to avoid bacterium and mould reproduce in the inner lining; and
  • it is compulsory to wash, clean and moisturise skin regularly (with nourishing cream) to eliminate filthiness and noxious substances and restore necessary protection.



  • Despite their materials, P.P.E. shall be created in conformity to safety norms. They shall be stored in working places and maintenance shall be carried out following builder's indications. They shall be used correctly.


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Example of backpack sprayer

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Harness complete with holding hooks

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Correct position to move loads

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Wrong position to move loads

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Example of ladder complete with anti-skid devices

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Example of aluminium ladder

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Example of half-mask respirator

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